The Student Literary Journal of Vermont State University

After the sun pops
your eyelids off
and the moon severs
the tendons around your

Sink your knees
into the warm mud-meal
of earth, fold back,
like the leg joint
of a flamingo, until
your back and hair rest
in the dirt’s phlegm.

Look at the pale sky,
the color of your mother’s
February birthstone
and realize the pines
crumpled a long time ago,
committed suicide, their sap
flooding rivers and pores.

Place your palms on the stones around your body
and listen to the pulse of lava munching
thousands, now hundreds, now—

Slit your fingertips with the knife
your father gave you on your
14th birthday.

Stick your fingers deep into the soil,
suck up the molten
milkshake of this planet,
like roots,

and let your skin molt,
and your bones implode
to the growing echoes of the atmosphere’s lilt,
and now you know
your blood is no longer yours.

BENJAMIN MURRAY is a graduate of Eastern Washington University’s MFA program and an advisor for Transformation Tuesday, a poetry and performance event with a focus on marginalized voices. He enjoys roaming the woods of the PNW for Sasquatch and kayaking rivers. His work has been published or is forthcoming in Arkana, Northwest Boulevard, Cobalt, and Stone Coast Review.